All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Relentlessly terrifying. I couldn't sleep after starting this book. I enjoyed the story, and I was captivated by the characters dealing with the realities WWII. The plight of people fleeing a city, the indoctrination of young men with no better options--- all so sad and desperate. I felt bad for everyone that had to be a part of WWII, and I understood much better the day-to-day horror that war would bring to every man, woman, and child. I'm not going to go through the plot, but it reminds me of Ken Follett's excellent Century Series. Though long, this book was good, although a bit gory- its another perspective on the great war that affected generations to come.
What is this book about to me? All the light could refer to the descriptions of how the young girl lives, and what she senses were beautiful and also overwhelming. But I think the title refers to the inner strength that exists in those who we think are disadvantaged. Young Marie-Laure, despite her blindness, she sees more about the world than those around her, and rises up to the challenges of the day. In contrast, the sighted around her, none of them can see the right thing to do, or have the courage to actually do it. The same for those who are no "mainstream" and can make the hard choices because they cannot be part of the system. Frederick, who refuses to disobey his parents because he knows they need him in the camp or they will be cast out Jutta, the younger sister of a young radio operator who warns "If everyone is doing it, it does not mean it is right for you to do it too." The light we cannot see is the strength to question what choices we have everyday.
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